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No option but to nurse themselves

india Updated: Jun 30, 2006 00:11 IST
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RACHNA, A patient in Surgical Ward 7 lies in bed with eyes glued to IV fluid level in the bottle hanging by her bedside. One of the doctors has taught her how to monitor the flow. Now, Rachna has to play nurse to herself.

Patients like her and the doctors have no option as 280 nurses of the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) continued their strike for the second day on Thursday.

It’s the patients who are bearing the brunt. Mamta, who delivered a baby through Cesarean section at Queen’s Mary Hospital, said, “I am facing a lot problems as the nurses are not here. This is my first baby and I am not even sure as to how I should handle him. The doctors are helping us but they can’t be there all the time.”

Ranjan, another patient said, “I met with an accident four days back and since then I have been in hospital. But the last two days have been terrible. The nurses used to take good care of me. The doctors are trying their best to give us our medicines on time and take care of us but it is difficult for them. Now, they have taught my wife how and when to give me medicines.”

The Pediatrics Ward is one ward that is possibly in the worst situation. One of the doctors said, “Children require more attention and care. The resident doctors are doing their best to provide optimum care but still, we can’t match the care that the nurses provide to these children.”

Most of the resident doctors are under stress. They workload has more than doubled. Dr Preeti at Lari Heart Centre said, “We have been caught in a bad situation. Lari is not admitting patients until and unless they are in a critical condition. We are referring them to other hospitals.”

Dr Gurmeet Singh, Superintendent, KGMU agreed that the services had been hit.

He said, “It is the nurses who administer the patients once the doctors have given their diagnosis and prescribed medicines. KGMU anyway is short of the nursing staff and when the existing staff is not present it becomes difficult for both the patients and the hospital.”